A 5-Minute Priming Technique for Improving Your Status

One of the most satisfying feelings in life is respect.

If you are about to enter a meeting and want to gain the respect of others, you can roll the dice and play with the luck of your first impressions. Typically, this leaves you at the genetic whims of your physical appearance, demographics, personality or your actual formal role in the organization (who's the boss? Oh, it might be you...)

But this approach with first impressions is really beyond your control.

If you have the luck to gamble a bit more, you'll have a second chance to improve your status with impressions provided by your credentials (educational and professional), your proven competence, your commitment or your expertise.

Best of all, if you actually attain a high status with your peers, they you'll tend to keep it.

These ideas are all detailed in an article by Adam Galinsky and Galvin Kilduff in the December 2013 issue of Harvard Business Review.

However, Galinsky and Kilduff may have found a technique to improve your status that challenges these notions of typical first and second impressions...

Prime Yourself To Impress

The attitude with which you enter a new group - something entirely within your control - can help boost your chances of being a leader in that group.

Focus on your mindset shortly before that first meeting. Done correctly, this will propel you into a proactive mindset, which helps you move towards positive outcomes and rewards.

Here's a simple 5-Minute Priming Technique you can do shortly before a big meeting that will prime your mindset.

Spend five minutes writing in one of three ways:
  • Promotion Focus - write about your own ambitions and what you hope to achieve in life.
  • Power Focus - write about an incident in which you had power over another person.
  • Happiness Focus - write about a time when you felt excited and joyful.
In Galinsky's and Kilduff's research, they found it didn't matter which of these three focuses were selected. Participants that were primed were viewed more positively by their peers post-meeting. So simply select whichever of the focuses feels most authentic to you and write about it.

Furthermore, they found  that this priming method also improved interviewing, negotiating and speaking skills.

So the next time you want to make a lasting impact in practically any engagement with others, try this 5-Minute Priming Technique. For freelancers, this could be your all-important first meeting with a client.

Who knows - you just might walk away leaving a "remarkable" impression. And who wouldn't want that?

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